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We would like to use A/B testing in Journey Builder. I saw there was no such option out-of-the-box, but is there a workaround? When I say "A/B Testing", I don't mean just having a random split to monitor which of the 2 email versions has a better-performing e.g. subject line. Rather, we'd like a standard A/B functionality from Email Studio, whereby Marketing Cloud evaluates how each version of the e.g. subject line performed on the 20% list, and sends the "winning" version to the remainder of the list (80%) automatically.

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  • you can use Random Splits to build A/B testing in JB. Oct 14, 2019 at 13:38
  • Hi Nix, can you update your question to specify that you want the AB test to resolve in a “winner” (after a period of time?) rather than just producing an ongoing random split? Oct 14, 2019 at 13:50

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Yes, the most simple way is to use a Random Split.

After you randomly split the contacts, you can define the Email Activity and use the same email with different subject lines, or add a Wait activity to send it at different times.

The downside of this is that you will have to figure out a way to create reporting, which won't be as easily displayed as the one in the A/B Test in Email Studio. As a workaround, you could include Engagement Splits in your journey, just before the Exit, to see how many subscribers engaged with each version of your email.

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  • Hi zuzannamj, yes that's the workaround that we though of too, but the downside is that the system does not determine "the winning" version of an email and sends it to the remainder of customers. Or am I not seeing the potential of random splits here?
    – nix9247
    Oct 14, 2019 at 13:43
  • Yes, you are right, the only way to achieve that using the built-in functionality is to use A/B Test in Email Studio: help.salesforce.com/…
    – zuzannamj
    Oct 14, 2019 at 13:49
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I think the easiest way to achieve this would be to random split your audience, then use dataviews to determine the engagement and reflect that in the email sent to the remainder of the audience then join them back to the main group then repeat the pattern. the top email would be which performed better out of the bottom 2 emails.abtestdemo

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  • Could you tell me how I could configure the first email in the random split 80% path. The first email could be blank or I need to configure with anything or it is something will be taken automatically? I am thinking to use it. Mar 17, 2023 at 12:16
  • you can do this pretty easily with path optimizer in journey builder, you don't even need to make a query. remove the first path. take 20% of your audience run them through the 50/50 split and the winner will be determined automatically.
    – dwsturgeon
    Mar 18, 2023 at 17:35
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This question was asked in 2019, but Path Optimizer became available in May 2020. Path Optimizer should allow you to do the A/B testing functionality that you are seeking, but it should be noted that Path Optimizer goes far beyond A/B testing; in fact, you can have up to 10 paths in a Path Optimizer flow control.

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